Speech by Lama Tenzin at International Tibetan
Buddism Study Institute.I have been invited here today to say few words by the
International Tibetan Buddhism Study Institute.
Firstly I would like to thank all the members and directors of
the Institute. I feel that this Institute is extremely important not
only for the expansion and flourishing of Tibetan Buddhism
but for the benefi t it will provide for countless sentient beings
internationally from the East to the West. As I have been living
in the West for many years, I would like to say few words about
my experience as a monk and a teacher in Western countries.
Tibetan Buddhism, which we have been practicing and teaching, is an extraordinary religion, science and philosophy.
Even though these teachings started 2,500 years ago the value
of the message benefits more and more people every year in
Asia, the West and every part of the world.
The most important thing that we should be concerned with
is listening, contemplating, and meditating on the teachings
of the Buddha Dharma and all the profound and extensive
commentaries that have been written by the many great Indian
and Tibetan masters of the past. Th ere are so many things for us to learn, contemplate and practice. In the West, Tibetan Buddhist
teaching and publications have only been around for the short period of a
half century or so, but more and more people are realizing the great benefi t
of practicing these precious teachings. It is important for all beings to
listen, contemplate and meditate.
The Buddha said “The only thing that I can do is show you the truth, and
if you practice on the truth, then you will achieve liberation. I cannot pick
you up from samsara and drop you in nirvana, it is ultimately up to you.”.
So based on this, there is much to learn, and more you learn, the more
you will understand. The more you understand, the more you will actually
experience the joy and happiness that can be gained from the practice.
The practice of Buddhism is not only based on faith, devotion, and
receiving blessings from the master. It is more important for individuals to
study and then contemplate on what you have studied until you are totally
convinced of the meaning. Once you totally understand, then you have
to meditate until you actually experience that what you have learned and
contemplated. Th is is the best way to practice Buddhism. When we do
it this way, then all the potential of the Buddha’s profound and extensive
teachings will lead to the fully realized result.
It is understood that through the practice of Buddhism the result will
only occur in the next life, or after many life times. I think that’s a bit of a misunderstanding, because the practice of Buddhism,
the whole purpose of doing this, is to reduce our negative
afflictions and emotions, as well as to increase our
compassion, loving-kindness, understanding, the ability to
forgive, and similar aspects. So the more and more practice
you do, the more that you will actually see results right
away, in this lifetime.
Ultimately, the more and more practice you do, the more
you will become a better and better person, which means
that your life will have increasing happiness.
Once we develop the qualities such as compassion and
loving-kindness, which we actually already have existing
within us, called the basic potential or Buddha nature, once
we fully develop this nature than we become enlightened.
And when we achieve enlightenment, we are freed from all
types of suffering.
Whether you go to the East or the West, it is universal
that every sentient being wants to have happiness and to
avoid suffering. Th is doesn’t mean that if you want to have
happiness you will have happiness, and if you don’t want
to have suffering, you won’t have suffering. it is essential
to know the technique of how to reduce suffering and
increasing happiness by listening, contemplating and
meditating on the teaching of dharma.
So Buddhism is flourishing, quite speedily from East to
West, which is extremely important and beneficial, because
it is universal that everybody is trying to achieve happiness
and be free from suffering.
The best way to achieve happiness and to be free from
suffering is dealing with your inner mind to develop your
inner potential, which is also known as “emptiness” or
Buddha says first you have to learn, and then you have
to practice. These two things have to combine to give
ourselves and others the way to achieve real happiness. If
we lack this listening, contemplating and meditating on the
teachings, there is no other way to achieve lasting happiness.
Happiness cannot rain from the sky, and blessings cannot
grow from the earth. Th e only blessing that we can receive
comes through the practice of the precious profound
message that Lord Buddha gave 2,500 years ago. Th is will
never be exhausted. Th e more we practice, the more we will
That is all I have to say today. Again, I really appreciate
all the members and directors for their tireless work in providing the opportunity for Tibetan Buddhism to flourish and for providing a root or heart center of the happiness of all sentient
beings. Every sentient being has the same wish for happiness and every sentient being has the same fear of suffering. Th e only way to
achieve this is to reduce our afflictive emotions, such as anger, pride, jealousy, etc., and to increase our potential for compassion, wisdom,
forgiveness and understanding. Th is is the teaching that Buddha Shakyamuni gave 2,500 years ago.
May these extraordinary techniques of achieving happiness spread all over the world, and may the Tibetan Buddhist practice and
practitioners flourish in the world without limits, continue from generation to generation, life time through life time, and spread from
East to West, to every part of the world. I would like to thank you again for giving me this opportunity to speak and I look forward to